For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. — John 3:16

This seg of “Lost,” titled “316,” takes the heavy-duty Christian allegory and symbolism to new heights. I’m surprised that they seem to be going that direction — not surprised as in dismayed, quite the contrary. I didn’t expect it so it makes the ride all that much more intriguing and interesting. But bear with me, people, I’m a Unitarian, and only a recent one at that, so Biblical details, imagery, iconography et al are not my strong suit. (Great Lenny Bruce line: “I know my humor is outrageous when it makes the Unitarians so mad they burn a question mark on my front lawn.”)

I really shouldn’t be surprised that things are getting even more spiritual and mystical for our castaways. The seeds have been sown for going on five seasons, especially this year with Mrs. Hawking doing her thang in the bowels of a church (that doubled as a Dharma station, as we’ve just learned!). The central philosophical tenet of the show (and “Lost” is one of the few that can claim to have such a hifalutin thing) has been the question of faith vs. science, and how much of our lives, our fates and fortunes are dictated by our battles as humans between free will and the collective subconscious.

Going back to one of the central mysteries about deal ol’ Jacob, this is a show that has presented us with ecclesiastical questions and concerns. And God love ’em for it, especially our spiritual leaders, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, who wrote this seg. It was helmed by Stephen Williams, who has delivered many a fine “Lost” hour before. (And a shout-out is in order to the lighting crew. They were busy in this seg, creating mood after mood after mood.)

Lost5316hurley The path along the way has included Locke’s visceral reaction to the island’s higher powers and his battles with Jack, Mr. Eko and his desecration of the cloth worn by his brother, Rose’s deep and abiding faith (by the way — where the heck are Rose and Bernard?!? And Vincent??) regarding her cancer, going back to Ben’s oft-repeated speech about how a spinal surgeon fell out of the sky just as he discovered he had a tumor and how “if that’s not proof of God I don’t know what is.”

Ben demonstrates his knowledge of scripture in telling Jack the story behind the painting in Mrs. Hawking’s church of Thomas the Apostle, and how he had to touch Jesus’ wounds before he’d believe in the resurrection. “We’re all convinced sooner or later, Jack,” Ben taunts.

The John 3:16 thing didn’t dawn on me until about 20 minutes in — yes, I also thought about the rainbow wig guy who used to show up with the “John 3:16” sign at sporting events and such — but it totally tracks with the plot that is unfolding at a gallop so far this season.

Think about it in the context of the “sacrifice” that Locke came to grips with last week, with the time travel business and the hints we’ve gotten about eternal life from folks like Richard Alpert, and Charles Widmore’s burning motivation to find his way back to the island.

Now — on to the granular details of this week’s adventure. Once again, Jin leaves us gasping. Jin was a Dharma,or is this a time travel thing? And what happened to Aaron? Could it be that Claire paid Kate another visit and claimed him at long last?

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